Sunday, 20 September 2015

5 Questions - Tony Rodd, Masterchef 2015 Runner-Up

The last series of Masterchef finished in April and whilst watching the show, there were two contestants that I picked out from the start as possible winners. As the show marched on to finals week, my two favourites Simon Wood and Tony Rodd were still there. John Torode and Gregg Wallace had a hard time splitting the two but in the end, Simon was crowned the 2015 champion just ahead of the gracious Tony.
The whirlwind that follows the Masterchef finalists is unrelenting as the contestants try to carve out new careers on the back of the show so I was delighted that Simon was able to find time to answer 5 Questions recently and thrilled that Tony could squeeze time into his busy schedule to return his own answers.
Here's Tony's story;

What do you hope to do with your career now that Masterchef has ended?

I'm still exploring the possibilities since finishing MasterChef and have been undertaking a range of events from private dining to supper clubs and from cooking demonstrations to Christmas parties. I think in the long run I will try to take the business in the direction of private dining as if allows me to be creative with every menu, work with some wonderful chefs and in great locations, and work closely with my diners. It will also afford me time to dedicate to writing a book or getting involved in exciting new projects.

What was your favourite challenge on the show?

My favourite challenge had to be cooking for the Red Arrows. I'm a big kid at heart so getting to cook for the team in Lincoln was a dream come true. We were under immense pressure and there was a lot at stake but at the end of the challenge, I was so proud of the food we produced, especially considering our kitchen was a tent on a runway. It's something I'll never forget. We worked so well as a team and I'm proud to have worked alongside Simon, Pete and Sarah in that challenge.

What is the biggest thing that you learnt about yourself over the process?

You learn a lot about yourself during MasterChef and amazingly it's not always just about your cooking skills. I think I really found I developed as a person, how I handle stress, challenges and disappointment. My cooking has come on leaps and bounds since, but I'm also more rounded and able to tackle anything that's thrown at me now.

If you could only cook one of the recipes that you cooked over the Masterchef process again, what would it be & why?

I cooked a Caramel Frappuccino dessert in an early round and since finishing the show it's what most people ask me about. It was my first real chance at creating a bespoke dessert and something I'd never really done before but it's also what's now forged my reputation for puddings. I was very pleased with my feedback and would be happy to keep producing plates of food of that quality.

You can invite one person (living or dead) to your last meal – Who would it be and why? …and what’s on the menu?

Such a tricky question as there are so many to choose from including my grandmother who really started my passion for food, but I think it would have to be Michel Roux Jr. It's his style of food that I most admire and aspire to and although I try to create my own style, I would be very interested to hear what he thinks of my food. As for the menu, I think it would have to be a Pigeon dish I have been developing over recent weeks and my Pimm's and Lemonade dessert which demonstrates technique, flavour and has a real sense of humour in it's presentation.

Since the end of filming, Tony has been on the go non-stop with private dining events and supper clubs, as well as cooking demonstrations at food festivals and is now looking forward to hosting the first of two private dinners at The Ivy in London's Soho followed by an event at L'Escargot. During the show, Tony was known more for his dapper bow ties and memorable moustache but I'm sure that the diners who are lucky enough to attend Tony's events will be telling their friends about his cooking skills rather than discussing his quirky styling.
I would like to thank Tony for taking the time out to answer 5 Questions and wish him every success in the future. Keep up to date with Tony on Facebook and Twitter or if you fancy booking Tony to cook for your own private dining event, why not drop him an email and he will be happy to discuss your requirements.



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